Bhubaneswar: The high-pitched campaigning for September 19 urban local bodies (ULB) elections came to an end this evening with senior leaders of both the ruling BJD and opposition Congress appealing people to vote for their candidates.
BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik campaigned for his party candidates at Polsara, Kabisurya Nagar and Digapahandi in Ganjam district on Tuesday.
Patnaik who attracted a huge crowd in all the places he visited during electioneering, appealed the voters to exercise their franchise for the BJD candidates for development of Odisha. The Chief Minister, BJD sources said, covered more than 40 ULBs of the 66 ULBs going to polls on September 19.
Besides Patnaik, the ruling party engaged all its ministers, MPs, MLAs and senior leaders in the election campaign. The regional outfit also engaged some popular Odia film stars to campaign for the party candidates.
While Patnaik all along the campaigning targeted the UPA government at the Centre and accused Congress of neglecting Odisha, opposition Congress highlighted corruption, inefficiencies and rise in the crimes against women as main election issues.
The Congress after a delayed start in the campaigning is also trying hard to regain its place in the State politics after the 2009 debacle.
Odisha PCC president Jaydev Jena, AICC general secretary in-charge of the state, B K Hariprasad and Union Minister Srikant Jena were among the prominent leaders who campaigned for Congress candidates.
BJP, on the other hand, boasted on the local leaders to campaign for their candidates. The party, however, got strength in the mid of the campaigning as the BJP announced Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate.
"We are optimistic that announcement of Modiji`s name as the party`s PM candidate will have impact on the urban polls here," said BJP`s state president K V Singhdeo.